Installing Ubuntu

At this time, to run FRCSim, it is necessary to install Ubuntu (64bit). Any version supported by gazebo will work, but we suggest 14.04, the LTS version. A discrete NVidia or ATI graphics card is also recommended since these are the configurations that are most tested. From our experience Intel Integrated Graphics often does not work and should be avoided if possible. We recommend following this tutorial:

Make sure you download the amd64 iso. There are various other instructions online detailing how to install Ubuntu 14.04. If you find one you like better, email

Running Ubuntu on an SD Card, Flash Drive, or other External Drive

Installing Ubuntu on a flash drive is a great way compromise between dual-booting and a VM.  While dual booting will be higher performance, a flash drive is much easier to set up than dual booting.You'll need at least 8gb of space, but 16 is highly recommended. If you run out of space you will be very sad.

Note: Installing Ubuntu on a flash drive is NOT the same as a "Live USB".


 1. Create a live USB of your favorite linux distribution. We recommend Ubuntu 14.04 or later. The Live USB can be only 6 or 8gb, but you should install onto something larger, like 16 or 32 gb.

               If you have Windows:

               If you have OS X

2. Insert the Live USB and the device you want to install on to and reboot your computer

3. If your computer reboots back into your other operating system, you may have to use F12 or F1 to interrupt the normal start-up sequence. Do some research, and don't be afraid to remove your existing hard drive if you are worried about losing your current operating system.

4. You'll know you booted into the correct device when you see something like the image below

5. Follow the instructions under "Install Ubuntu". The default options are ok, just make sure you install onto the right device!


If you're having trouble, there are many fantastic guides on the internet for installing onto an SD Card or Flash Drive. We've created a video for you here:

Another good tutorial is here:

Running Ubuntu on an SD Card, Flash Drive, or other External Drive

Running Ubuntu on the Same Computer as Windows

It’s possible to install Ubuntu alongside Windows, this is referred to as dual- booting. The instructions are similar to above, but you have to make sure that you don’t delete your Windows install.

For more details see

Be careful, it is easy to mess up your bios or lose data when dual booting. Make a backup first!

Running in a Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is another viable option for using FRCSim. However, be warned that graphics performance will likely be a problem. We've found that VMWare player on windows, linux, or mac will run gazebo. However, gazebo will run very slowly.

We have been unable to get Virtualbox to run gazebo, although on Mac it seems to work.

1. Download VMWare player

2. Download your favorite version of linux (Ubuntu 15.10 recommended) and install it in the virtual machine

3. Follow the directions here for manual install (Installing FRCSim The Fun Way (Manually) ) and here for a script installer (TODO)

Note: We have tested with 8Gb of ram, 2 core, and 32Mb video memory, but feel free to try other settings

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